April 2013 Archives


There's been a new development in the story about the observation tower at Greenwich Point, as reported by Frank MacEachern in the Greenwich Time. 


                     SOURCE:   Greenwich Time / Google Commons


The upper section of the tower was greatly damaged and weakened by Hurricane Sandy last fall. Fortunately, the lower section, which houses a bathroom for the staff and contains the telephone and electricity connections foir the booth, is built with cement cinder blocks. The Town decided not to replace the tower section for budgetary reasons. The Greenwich Point Conservancy president, Chris Franco, agreed with the town, stating the structure was not as historically important as other buildings.  Greenwich resident Jim Reilly disagrees, and stated in a letter to the editor of a local weekly paper that the entire town should have had a say in the decision.

Frank MacEachern also established the dates that the Police Department sub-station operated. According to the reporter, Lt. Tom Keegan stated that the police were there for 6 to 7 years, but the structure fell into disrepair and it was no longer used for a station after 2008. Besides, beach access by non-residents became less of an issue, and Police presence was not as necessary. Officers were reassigned to perform other duties.


REMINDER:  "The Communities and Neighborhoods of Greenwich"        Saturday    May 4th    2PM      Greenwich Library


Historical Happenings

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The Communities and Neighborhoods of Greenwich
Saturdays - 2 PM 
Second Floor Meeting Room - Greenwich Library


Local experts talk about the history of the various sections of town.


Saturday   May 4        Byram with architect Patricia Baiardi Kantorski

Saturday   June 29     Glenville with historian Susan Richardson 

Saturday   July 13      Horseneck with historian Davidde Strackbein

Saturday   Sept 21     Cos Cob with Lou Caravella

Saturday   Oct 19       Old Greenwich with author Missy Wolfe

Saturday   Nov 2        The creation and history of Planning & Zoning 
                                    with Diane Fox


Tall Ships

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Tall Ship235.jpg

One of the most exciting events of the Greenwich Bicentennial Celebration of 1976 was the parade of Tall Ships passing the Greenwich shoreline.  The Bicentennial marked 200 years of United States independence.
These vessels were headed to Operation Sail 1976, which was held on Saturday, July 3rd, in New York Harbor.  Ships  sailed up the Hudson River,  passing the Statue of Liberty.  The Greenwich Bicentennial Committee, with the cooperation of various local boat and yacht clubs, arranged for 11 ships to anchor in Greenwich (Captain's) Harbor, and members of the respective clubs provided room and board to crew members.   Other towns along the Connecticut shore - such as Norwalk and Stamford - offered similar accomodations. 

The "Greenwich 11" arrived late Friday, July 2nd.    Local boaters tried to get a look at the Tall Ships. The boats were not open for public visitation. They were  left early on Saturday, July 3rd, to sail up the Hudson.  A Maritime Parade along the Greenwich coast was arranged to begin at 4pm on Sunday.  At the end, the boats would anchor off Island Beach and watch a fireworks display that night at 9:30 pm.   The vessels  came from all over the world.  They included:
    "St. Lawrence II" from Canada
    "Gypsy Moth V" and  Outlaw from England
    "Sayula" from Mexico
    "Tina IV", "Meteor" and "Kukri" from Germany
    "Zenobee Gramm" from Belgium
    "Appakispic" from the Panama Canal Zone
    "Unicorn",  "Regis Maris" and "Deliverance" from the United States
The Greenwich Bicentennial Marine Parade included a total of 165 vessels.  Resident Fred Mason's 72-foot boat "Lion's Share" led the parade.  It began at Buoy 32A off Greenwich Point, and ended at Byram Shore.  The boats displayed many colorful flags, and some crews wore revolutionary garb.  John Bartol's boat "Gambit VI" served as a Judges' Reviewing Boat.  This was anchored just south of Indian Harbor Yacht Club.  The judges included:  Alfred Varner, Moderator of the RTM;  Ruppert Vernon, First Selectman; Stacey Orphanos, member of the Belle Haven Club; and some other dignitaries.  Prizes were awarded in several categories.

Thousands of people travelled to Greenwich Point and Grass Island to view the parade.  The gates were closed early when the parks were filled to capacity.  Richard Schlosser's boat "Muffin II" served as a press boat.  As a safety measure, the US Coast Guard, Greenwich Marine Police and various boat clubs helped patrol the harbors and course. Outside of a brief, 10-minute thunderstorm, the weather was ideal.

After the parade, the boats anchored off Island Beach.  A Dixieland Band on the "Islander III" ferry serenaded the crews.  There was a series of parties all over the harbor.  By the time the fireworks display was over, there were 600 boats in Long Island Sound! 

As the events of the evening ended, one viewer commented on the string of lights that stretched from Byram Shore to Old Greenwich Cove as happy residents returned home in their boats after the historic celebration.
There have been other occassions when Tall Ships sailed in local waters. Greenwich resident Tom Watson, the Curator for the Maritime Museum in New York City, was instrumental in OpSail programs.  Twenty-two Tall Ships participated in Operation Sail 1986, which was part of the re-dedication of the Statue of Liberty.  Several ships were guests of the Indian Harbor and Riverside Yacht Clubs.  These included "The Bounty", the Danish ship "Elinore" and the Irish ship "St. Patrick".  In 1990, two-hundred ships helped celebrate the 350th Anniversary of the Town of Greenwich.  One included a Soviet ship, which encountered a great deal of difficulty from US Customs officials.  OpSail '92  commemorated the 500th anniversary of Columbus' voyage to the New World.  Approximately 200 ships participated in this armada. OpSail 2000 was a special Milennium event for Connecticut. The parade was held in New London, which provided a somewhat more centralized location for local travelers. The SoundWaters "Clear Water" vessel sailed up the coast to participate in the armada.
Over the years, additional activities were added to raise funds for worthwhile causes..  One such event was the Tall Ships Ball, which began around 1995.   This was held at one of the local yacht clubs, and raised money for the non-profit environmental group SoundWaters.
There's something majestic about Tall Ships.  As the wind quietly fills the sails and propels the imposing vessel forward, it projects an image of this country's strength and fortitude. They've been critical to our history.  Early settlers crossed the ocean in ships.  Sailors used ships for whaling and fishing.  They were used for transporting local agricultural and manufactured products to market.  They were used to transport people to faraway ports.   Tall Ships have played an important part in our history.  
I, for one, hope there will be more Tall Ships passing our shores and seeking shelter in our harbors in the future. 
SOURCE:   Greenwich Time

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Historical Happenings

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The Communities and Neighborhoods of Greenwich
Saturday - May 4th - 2 PM
Greenwich Library Second Floor Meeting Room


This exciting and interesting program will look at the many areas of Greenwich, which developed separartely, then merged in 1854 to form the Borough of Greenwich.  

Greenwich Library and The Greenwich Historical Society are co-sponsoring this series.

Architect Patricia Baiardi Kantorki will "kick off" the series with a discussion of the history of Byram from an architectural standpoint. Patricia is the head of an arhcitectural firm, has served on many Town planning committees and is a member of several preservation groups. 

Future talks in the series will be held on the following Saturdays:


 June 29th - Historian Susan Richardson will talk about the history of Glenville.

 July 13th - The history of central Greenwich (Horseneck) will be presented by Historian Davidde Strackbein.

 September 28th - Cos Cob as a maritime and art center will be discussed.

 October 19th - Author Missy Wolfe will speak on Old Greenwich citing her new book "Insubordinate Spirit".


In November there will be a wrap up session to discuss the future of Greenwich.

The program series is free and open to all ages.  No registration is required. 

Call (203) 622-7948 for more information.

One of the busiest rooms in Town Hall is the Cone Meeting Room located on the second floor.  This room was named after Joseph W. Cone, who was the first Commissioner of Public Works in Greenwich.

Joseph Warren Cone was born on October 6, 1881, in Southport CT.  He was educated in the public schools of Norwalk.  At age 16, he dropped out of school to become an apprentice and millwright (person responsible for installation, repair, etc. of machinery).  Cone made $3 for a 60-hour week!   He also became a "boss knitter", which is a supervisor who monitors the quality of output. 


Use Cone225.jpg                              SOURCE:   GREENWICH TIME 


Mr. Cone must have developed a keen interest in engineering (and finished high school)  because he eventually enrolled at Yale University in this field.  In his junior year he was an assistant instructor in plane surveying, and in his senior year he was an assistant instructor in railroad engineering.  Cone received a prize in Civil Engineering at the University.  He took two years of general honors courses, and graduated "Primum Honoris" (First Honor) in 1905.  His membership in the Sigma XI honor fraternity  set him apart from his contemporaries.   Joseph must have believed in the value of common sense because he talked about a "CS Degree" - a "Common Sense" Degree.  This, most likely, came from his life experiences.  Some would call it "the college of hard knocks".

During World War I,  he served as a Captain in Battery A, 41st Regiment, Railroad Artillery.   He joined the civil engineering company S.E. Minor in Greenwich after the war, and became a partner in 1921.  By 1927 he was the Treasurer, and was owner from 1931 to 1940.  Cone was appointed the first Commissioner of Public Works in Greenwich in January 1940.  In this capacity, he was responsible for subdivisions of property, property surveys, and title surveys.  He designed and built the first concrete highways in the state.  Cone organized the first town DPW with the Divisions of Highways, Sewers, Buildings, Parks and Trees, and Waste Disposal.

Governor Wilbur Cross appointed him to the State Board of Registrations for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors.  Governor Raymond E. Baldwin appointed him to the State Board of Supervisors of Dams and Reservoirs.  The professional associations he belonged to include:  Connecticut Society of Engineers, Yale Engineering Association, National Society of Professional Engineers and the Connecticut State Board of Civil Engineers.  He also served as technical advisor to the Fairfield County Planning Association.

He was very active in the community. Cone was a Director of the Greenwich Chamber of Commerce,  Director of the Greenwich Title Company, Secretary and Director of the Greenwich Mortgage Company, member of the Sons of the American Revolution, and belonged to the Masons. He was also active in the Riverside Yacht Club and Graduate Club of New Haven.

 After 13 years of public sevice with the town, Joseph Cone retired.  He still remained active in town engineering, contributing to the construction of the Connecticut Turnpike and upgrading the sewage disposal system.

 Joseph W. Cone died on July 11, 1969.  He left behind a great legacy of public service and volunteerism.  The Town benefited from his dedication and leadership.  His life was full and rewarding.  Greenwich benefited greatly from his many gifts.


SOURCE: Greenwich Time

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